PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland basketball icon Terry Porter has been named head men's basketball coach at the University of Portland, Athletic Director Scott Leykam announced today. Porter, a 17-year NBA veteran player and former NBA head coach, becomes the 21st basketball head coach in Pilot history.
The University has planned an introductory press conference for Tuesday at noon at the Chiles Center to officially introduce Porter. The event will be open to the public and season ticket packages will be available for sale.
"This is a very exciting day for the University of Portland and Pilot Basketball," Leykam said. "Terry brings a phenomenal basketball pedigree to campus having coached and competed at the highest levels. He also will be a perfect fit for our campus and its mission of teaching and learning, faith and formation, and service and leadership. Terry has proven that he is a man of high character and integrity with a competitive drive that will translate well to this new opportunity. We want the City of Portland to embrace us and get on board with an exciting new chapter of Pilot Basketball."
"I am honored that Scott Leykam and University President Fr. Mark Poorman have given me this great opportunity," Porter said. "I'm excited about working tirelessly to continue to build this program up and establish a great tradition of Portland Basketball. I have been blessed to coach at the highest level in the NBA, but college has always intrigued me because of the impact that my college coach, Dick Bennett, has had on my life. To now have the opportunity, in my hometown of Portland, to impact other young men's lives is phenomenal and to be able to do so at a prestigious academic institution means a lot."
Porter, 52, was a standout for the Portland Trail Blazers and had his jersey retired by the franchise in 2009. During his 17-year NBA career, Porter averaged 12.2 points, 5.6 assists, 1.2 steals, made two All-Star appearances (1991, 1993), two trips to the NBA Finals (1990, 1992) and scored 15,586 career points. He currently ranks 14th on the NBA's all-time assist leaderboard (7,160).
A Milwaukee, Wisc. native, Porter brings extensive NBA coaching experience to the Pilots. He was the head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks for two seasons (2003-05), including leading the team to the 2004 NBA Playoffs. He served one season as head coach of the Phoenix Suns (2008-09) and was also an assistant coach at Minnesota, Sacramento and Detroit.
The notable coaches that Porter played for throughout his career include Jack Ramsay, Rick Adelman, Flip Saunders, Pat Riley and Gregg Popovich. Porter also played for legendary college head coach Dick Bennett at Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Bennett would go on to great success with UW-Green Bay, Wisconsin and Washington State.
Porter, a long-time team ambassador for the Trail Blazers since his retirement, has not only been a fan favorite from his playing days, but also one of the biggest community contributors of any Portland-area celebrity. He is a Boys and Girls Club Hall of Fame member and still actively participates in many other community ventures.